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Full text of "Description of the chemical laboratories at the Owens college, Manchester"

DESC RI PTIO N 



OF THE 



CHEMICAL LABORATORIES 



AT THE 



OWENS COLLEGE, 

MANCHESTER. 

BY 

H. E. ROSCOE, B.A., F.R.S. 
u 

FROM THE 

PLANS OF ALFRED WATERHOUSE, A.R.A. 




LIBRARY 



Ilsn Y OF 



CALIFORNIA. 



MANCHESTER: 

J. E. CORNISH, BOOKSELLER TO THE OWENS COLLEGE, 

33, PICCADILLY. 

1878. 



> . V . 1 I 



U N I V K I! S IT V i ) I- 

OALIFOKNIA. 



DESCBIPTION, 



A S will be seen in the plans and elevations (Figs. 1 to 21), the chief features of the building are 
** two large laboratories, each 70ft. long, 30ft. broad, and 29ft. high. No. 1 (Tig. 2) is devoted 
to the first year's or qualitative students, and in it there are sixty working places. No. 2 (Fig. 1) is 
arranged for the advanced or quantitative students, and contains ten blocks of four benches each, for 
the accommodation of forty students. 

The first essential in a laboratory, that of good light, is provided for by large windows and 
skylights on both sides. The second essential, that of plenty of air and good ventilation, is secured 
by lofty rooms, each having a capacity of upwards of 50,000ft., and by means of the powerful draught 
of a high chimney at one end of the laboratory block ; the upward current being maintained by 
means of a furnace in the basement at the foot of the chimney, which furnace in the winter works 
the hot-water heating apparatus, and in the summer simply serves for ventilating purposes. 

The ventilation of the laboratory may be divided into two kinds, (a) the general ventilation, 
and (6) the special ventilation, (a) The general ventilation is effected by a wooden perforated 
ceiling running the whole length of both of the main laboratories, and conveying the vitiated air 
by a large air-trunk, shown in Fig. 5, to the shaft, within which rises the smoke flue of the furnace. 
The supply of fresh air is obtained from a high level by a fresh air shaft, down which the air passes, 
being drawn over the hot water pipes by the aspiration of the chimney, and passing into the 
laboratories through gratings placed in the walls. This ventilation acts so successfully, that when 
from fifty to sixty beginners are working in the qualitative (No. 1) laboratory, and forty advanced 
students are working in the quantitative (No. 2) laboratory, the air in both rooms is clear and 
pleasant throughout the day. In case, through negligence or accident, a large escape of acid fumes 
should occur, the windows, being hung on pivots, can all be opened, and a thorough renewal of the 
air can thus be effected in a few minutes, (fr) The special ventilation is also worked by the main 
shaft, and is divided between the evaporating niches in the walls shown in plan, and in detail in 
Figs. 13 to 21, and the sulphuretted hydrogen closets marked R in the detailed drawing of each 
working table (see Figs. 6 to 12). Each of the niches is provided with an upright glazed earthenware 
pipe, 4in. in diameter, running into a horizontal pipe of the same material, 12in. in diameter, 
communicating directly with the main chimney, the draught in which is powerful enough to draw 
air from each one the niches without the necessity of any gas flame being used for aspiration, and 
no escape is noticed in the working of these when fumes, even of sulphuric acid, are evaporated 
in any quantity. In order to prevent the condensation of acid liquors, or of water, when these 
substances are boiled in the niches, a porcelain funnel is introduced into the lower part of the 
earthenware pipe inside the niche ; all vapours generated under this funnel are immediately swept 



( 4 ) 

into the chimney, and no condensation whatever takes place inside the glass windows of the 
niche. The amount of air which in actual practice is found to pass up these draught-places, is us 
follows : 

The large niches at the west end of the laboratory, aspirate 100 cubic feet of air per minute, 
and each of the smaller ones in the three walls running east and west, 12. cubic feet of air per 
minute. 

The sulphuretted hydrogen closets in each working bench, shown in section in Fig. 11, and 
in plan in Figs. 7 and 9, are joined together in groups of two or four, aud placed in connexion with 
a Tin. or 4in. glazed earthenware pipe communicating with :i horizontal flue shown in section in 
Fig. 5, running between the fireproof arching under the floor, and passing into the chimney. The 
down-draught in" each of these closets is continuous and powerful, each closet in the laboratory 
No. 1 aspirating at the rate of 5 cubic feet per minute, whilst those in laboratory No, 2 aspirate on 
an average 20 cubic feet per minute, those at the furthest end of the laboratory differing but 
slightly from those situated nearest to the chimney. 

The details of the arrangements of the working benches are seen in Figs. 6 to 12. The 
small block of buildings shown in section in Fig. 5, and in plan in Figs. 1, 2, and 3, consists of two 
floors, each containing seven rooms divided into, on the ground floor, 1, organic analysis room ; 2 
and 3, balance rooms ; 4, gas analysis room ; 5, Demonstrator's room ; 6, Prof. Schorlemmer's 
lecture-room for Organic Chemistry ; 7, Prof. Schorlemmer's private room. 

The basement floor shown in Fig. 1 contains 1, laboratory for medical and evening students, 
with accommodation for fifty workers, also ventilated by the main shaft ; 2, metallurgical laboratory 
containing furnaces, also in connexion with the large chimney ; 3, store room ; 4, class room ; 5, 
lavatory and cloak room ; 6, spectroscopic room ; 7, photographic room ; 8, dark room for photometry ; 
9, boiler house ; and 10, three preparation rooms. 

The first floor, Fig. 4, contains Professor Roscoe's private room, private balance room, and 
private laboratory with windows opening into laboratories Nos. 1 and 2. 

It will be seen from the plans that the block of working laboratories communicates by a 
corridor with the large chemical lecture theatre (capable of seating an audience of 380), which has 
a small laboratory for the lecturer's immediate use behind his platform. 

Sections of the laboratory block and of the lecture theatre are found in Figs. 4 and 5. 

The whole of the buildings and fittings have been carried out from the designs of Mr. 
ALFRED WATEKHOUSE, A.R.A. 

H. E, ROSCOE. 




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